Thursday, 28 May 2015

Follow the blog

With the season just about over, this blog will only appear occasionally from now on.   It will resume on a daily basis in early September.

So, in the meantime, if you haven't done so already, sign up to 'follow by email'.   At the bottom of the right-hand column on this page there's a box where you simply add your email address.   Every time an article is published, you will receive a notification by email.   That way, you don't have to check every day to see if there's something new.

Still to come this season is the EACU Congress (this coming weekend), the Norfolk & Suffolk Cup Final (4 June), the Suffolk First Team County Championships semi-final against Hertfordshire on 14 June, the Suffolk Junior Open (at Woodbridge School) on 21 June and the SCCA Annual General Meeting on 23 June   There will reports on all of these events, as well as other occasional snippets of news.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Bury Area Chess League Executive

Unlike the Suffolk County Chess Association, the BACL doesn't have a Committee, it has an Executive.   This evening the Executive held a meeting in the extremely pleasant surroundings of Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge.   The main purpose of the meeting was to agree the agenda for the forthcoming Annual General Meeting, which will be held at the Bury St Edmunds club venue on Monday 22 June (the day before the SCCA AGM!).

The photo above includes (left to right) Colin Roberts (Press Officer), Patrick Ribbands (Rapidplay Organiser), Paul Kemp (Treasurer), Ole Bay-Petersen (Chairman), Steve Lovell (Admin Secretary) and Charles Richmond (ex officio member).   Absent were Norman Hutchinson (Vice-Chairman), Jon Crowe (Match Secretary), Tim Davison (Internet Officer) and Mark Szymanski (Roger Goldsmith Organiser).   I took the photo!

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

David is off to Sardinia

David Spence will be playing in the 7th Festival Internazionale Capo d'Orso, on Sardinia's Emerald Coast, from 6 to 13 June.   He is amongst six English players who have entered.

Ten Grandmasters are included amongst the 122 entrants.

The tournament website can be accessed here.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Norfolk & Suffolk Cup Final

The Final will take place on Thursday 4 June at Moreton Hall Community Centre, between the current holders, Bury St Edmunds Chess Club and Broadland Chess Club.   This will be a re-match of last year's final, when the Bury team travelled to a remote part of Norfolk and beat the Broadland team 3½-2½.

Anyone wishing to come and spectate will be most welcome to do so.   Free coffee/tea and biscuits will be available!

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Andy Lewis at the 4NCL

Manningtree's Andy Lewis (207/2278) plays for Anglian Avengers 1 in Division 2 of the 4NCL.   He has annotated the following win against Ian Thompson (213/2202) from the final round on 4 May.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Results of Cup and Plate Finals

The new Cup and Plate Competition has ended with wins for Ipswich A and Saxmundham in the Cup and Plate respectively.

The Cup Final was between Ipswich A and Ipswich B, with the former winning impressively by 3½-½.   There were wins for Steve Gregory, Shaun Munson and Michael Clapham, with Nick Savage drawing.

The Plate Final was won on tie-break by Saxmundham, against Ipswich F.   The outstanding individual result was Alex Sheerin's Board 1 win against Saxmundham's David Brown, graded 41 points higher.   Alex has enjoyed an excellent season, which included a win against Phil Hopkins (173) in the League.

The full results can be viewed here for the Cup and here for the Plate.

The rules for this competition may need to be reviewed if it is to continue next season.   The initial pairings threw up some odd matches, with four 4-0 whitewashes and several matches where one team was outgraded by more than 50 points per board.   There was also a problem with the rule that states that participants in the Final must have played before in at least one of the previous rounds.   Where a team used the same four players throughout the competition and then faced a situation where one of these players was unavailable for the Final, this had the potential of an enforced default.   Fortunately, the problem was solved by the generosity of the opposing captain, but this rule certainly needs to be amended for next season.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Vote for Alan!

All ECF members (and therefore most readers of this website) should have received an email recently from the English Chess Federation.   14 players have been short-listed for the ECF Player of the Year.   This list includes 18-year old Alan Merry (right).

If you feel that Alan is deserving of this award, please vote for him by clicking this link.   Alan is on the verge of becoming the first Suffolk IM since the Perts (he just needs to gain another 58 rating points).   Nick Pert achieved his GM title at the age of 20, so Alan still has a couple of years to match him.

It would be great to see a Suffolk player becoming the Player of the Year, so please send in your vote soon!

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Mixed fortunes for Suffolk teams

Last weekend, Suffolk's First Team and the Under 160s played in their respective national County Championships quarter-finals.   The First Team, current holders of the Minor Counties trophy, thrashed a weakened Worcestershire team 13 - 3 on Saturday - see the individual results here (click on 'Minor Counties' and then 'Suffolk').   Particularly noteworthy was the fact that not one of the 16 Suffolk players lost!

Then on Sunday the Under 160s suffered the cruellest fate, drawing their match against Essex, but losing on board count.   To view the individual results, use the same link (above) but click on 'Under 160' and then the 'Essex' result.

The First Team now have a home match against Hertfordshire, who beat Bedfordshire by the narrowest margin.   Herts are likely to have IM Simon Knott on top board.   The match will probably take place at the Bury St Edmunds club venue, on Sunday 14 June (to be confirmed).

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

BBC article

You may be interested in this article about Carissa Yip, the USA's highest-rated 11-year old girl.   Her current rating is 1951, well above the UK's highest-rated 11-year old girl, Anita Somton (currently at 1474).

Claims that Carissa is a 'Master' appear exaggerated, unless it's a US, not FIDE, qualification.   Good publicity, though.


There will be no more articles/blogs until Thursday 21 May.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

SCCA Committee

The Committee of the Suffolk County Chess Association met this evening at my house.   Pictured above (left to right) are: Dave Wild (Grader), David Green (Competitions Secretary), Daniel Yarnton (u100 Captain), Jim Buis (Correspondence Captain), Colin Roberts (President) and Ian Wallis (First Team Captain).

The Committee discussed a wide range of issues, including the new rules and the current Constitution.   Items for the AGM Agenda were also considered.   Minutes of the meeting will be published soon.

The Annual General Meeting will be held at the Ipswich Chess Club on Tuesday 23 June.   Vacancies that remain to be filled at the AGM include Vice-President, Secretary, Correspondence Captain and Junior Organiser.   Any suggestions for these posts will be welcomed!

Monday, 11 May 2015

Some dates to note

Here are some important dates to note over the coming months:

Tuesday 12 MaySCCA Committee MeetingLittle Saxham
Saturday 16 MaySuffolk First Team v Worcestershire (Minor Counties quarter-final)Milton Keynes
Sunday 17 MaySuffolk Under 160 Team v Essex (u160 quarter-final)Bury St Edmunds
Sunday 17 MayColchester Junior Chess TournamentSt Benedict's College
Sat/Sun 30/31 MayEACU CongressNewmarket
Thursday 4 JuneNorfolk & Suffolk Cup Final v (Bury St Edmunds v Broadland)Bury St Edmunds
Sunday 21 JuneSuffolk Junior OpenWoodbridge School
Monday 22 JuneBury Area Chess League AGMBury St Edmunds
Tuesday 23 JuneSuffolk League AGMIpswich Chess Club
Saturday 11 JulyEast Anglian Chess Union AGMWhittlesford

For further information about any of the above, please email me.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Suffolk Megafinal results

The national UK Schools Chess Challenge, sponsored by Delancey, reached its second stage today.   67 children from a number of Suffolk schools who qualified from their local competitions, gathered at Woodbridge School for the Suffolk Megafinal.

Entrants needed to score four points (out of six) to guarantee qualification for the third stage, the Gigafinal, which takes place on 11/12 July in Manchester.   It was also possible to qualify by being the highest scorer (both boy and girl) in each age-group.

Three players scored the maximum six points: Arthur Nath (under 8B) - Meadows Montessori, Ipswich; Adam John (under 9B) - Bury Knights; Anita Somton (under 11G) - Bury Knights.   Arthur Nath has an excellent pedigree - he is former Suffolk Ladies' Champion Vicky Allen's grandson!

The leading boy in each age-group is awarded the title 'Supremo', whilst the leading girl becomes a 'Suprema'.   The following results are incomplete and will be updated soon:

Under 7B - Harry Young
Under 7G - Tia Martin
Under 8B - Arthur Nath
Under 8G - ??
Under 9B - Adam John
Under 9G - Annabelle Carter
Under 10B - Aaron Saenz de Villaverde
Under 10G - Juliet Porter
Under 11B - ??
Under 11G - Anita Somton
Under 12B - Mario Saenz de Villaverde
Under 12G - ??
Under 13B - Alex Sheerin
Under 13G - Bethany Young
Under 14B - ??
Under 15B - ??
Under 16B - Patrick Gembis
Under 16G - Alba Saenz de Villaverde
Under 17B - William Sait

Eleven of the above Supremos and Supremas are from the Bury Knights or the Bury St Edmunds club.

Good luck to all the above, as well as the other qualifiers, at the Gigafinal.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

A new Suffolk Ladies' Champion

For the last two years, the title has been held by Emilia Jewell, from Bury St Edmunds.   But this year the Suffolk Ladies' Champion is 11-year old Anita Somton, also from Bury St Edmunds.   Currently graded 138, Anita was the top seed of the five entrants, which included three juniors.

Unfortunately, it proved impossible for Emilia and Anita to play each other, due to examination pressures.   However, Anita had already won three games and was assured of at least a share of the title, as Emilia had earlier lost to Stowmarket's Chris Hargan.

Anita is the youngest-ever winner of the Suffolk Ladies' title.   The previous youngest was Emily Orton, who won (jointly, with Vicky Allen) in 1995, at the age of 13.

The final table and all individual results can be seen on the Grading website.   Many thanks to Vicky Allen for organising this event.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Bury St Edmunds Senior Schools Championship

This afternoon, three Upper schools competed for a new trophy, the Bury St Edmunds Senior Schools Championship, donated by the Bury Knights Junior Chess Club.   The event was hosted by County Upper School.

Each school provided a team of four players, which each person playing opponents from the other two schools.

It is important that older children keep playing chess and one purpose of this competition was to encourage this.   In fact, although nine of the twelve participants were former members of the Bury Knights JCC, only four are currently playing regular adult league chess.

After the first round, King Edward VI School led on 3 points, followed by St Benedict's RC Upper on 2.   As results came in from Round 2, it was clear that the Championship would hinge on the very last game to finish, between Fraser Fallows of King Edward VI and Clement Wallace of St Benedict's.   With the scores tied at four points to each school, Clement, in time trouble (each player had 30 minutes for the game), blundered and lost his queen; Fraser soon mopped up the remaining pawns to win the game and the title for his school.

The photo (left) shows the winning team: Adam Illoul, Patrick Gembis (capt), Fraser Fallows, and Jake Jarvis.

The final scores were:

King Edward VI - 5
St Benedict's - 4
County - 3

The only players to win both games were Fraser Fallows and Paul Anders (County Upper).

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Summer chess - part 2

A couple of weeks ago, I asked clubs to let me know if they will be open over the summer months.   I've heard from only two - Stowmarket and Saxmundham.

Stowmarket Chess Club will be open as usual every Tuesday evening at the Bowls Club from 7:30 pm when half a dozen members are expected to be regular attendees.   Club President David Green asks that anyone who wants to come along, calls him on 01449 673783 to confirm someone will be present.

Arthur McCormick reports that Saxmundham Chess Club will be open as usual during the summer on Tuesday evenings 7.30 pm onwards.   Some nights will be busier than others and it's down to luck who turns up but we usually manage a minimum of a couple of players.

So with Bury St Edmunds Chess Club open every fortnight on Thursdays, there are a number of opportunities for members of other clubs that are closed over the summer to maintain or improve their skills.

EDIT (8 May)

Since writing this, I have heard from Sudbury, who are open "most" Mondays; and Felixstowe, also open, on Tuesdays.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Norfolk & Suffolk Cup - Suffolk Final result

For the second year running, current cup holders Bury St Edmunds have won the Suffolk section of the Norfolk & Suffolk Cup.   They beat Ipswich yesterday evening in a very close match.   In fact, the score was a 3 - 3 draw, but Bury won on bottom board elimination.

The individual results were (Ipswich players first):
Board 1 - Graham Moore 0 - 1 Mike Harris
Board 2 - Steve Gregory 0 - 1 Ed Player
Board 3 - Silas Peck 0 - 1 John Peters
Board 4 - Ian Wallis 1 - 0 Steve Ruthen
Board 5 - Nick Savage 1 - 0 David Brown
Board 6 - Ted Matthewson 1 - 0 Richard Lamont

Ipswich were without two of their top players - Shaun Munson and Mike Cook - which may have affected the final result.

After four games had been completed, Ipswich led the match 3 - 1, but wins by John Peters and finally Mike Harris, ensured that Bury St Edmunds were the eventual victors.

Bury St Edmunds will now host Broadland Chess Club, whom they beat in last year's Final.   Tha date for this match has not yet been fixed.

In the photos, the Bury team is facing the camera.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Hadleigh Chess Club is still here

This report has been submitted by Adrian Sanderson.

I’d like to let everyone know that Hadleigh Chess Club still exists; we are affiliated to SCCA and play chess on Friday evenings between September and April.

We are still unable to enter teams in any of the Suffolk league competitions because we cannot justify hiring a venue and it would be very difficult to be sure of raising a team of four at any time, particularly for away games.

Our six members have again enjoyed very pleasant playing conditions throughout the season with refreshments at Ray Ling’s home.   Twenty-three games were played in the club championship.   However we again had a few draws in the knock-out so there were thirty-one in all.

As in previous years we held an all-plays-all Black and White Club Championship.   Rupert Avis, Ray and I played most of our games by the end of February.   The pattern was similar to the previous year in that Graeme Jones and Martin Hill found it more difficult to complete their games due to pressure of work and David Johnson couldn’t come very often because of family matters.   The season finished in April and Rupert was again the winner with seven points from nine games completed.

In the knock-out competition I beat Martin in the final after a long drawn-out semi-final of three draws with David, the decider being played at his home.   In the other semi-final Martin beat Ray.

If any of our many former members or anyone else in the Hadleigh area would like to play with us on Friday evenings from September they would be very welcome.   We would like to think we could be in a position to consider entering teams in the Suffolk League at some time in the future.

The photo above shows (left to right): Rupert Avis, Adrian Sanderson, Martin Hill, Ray Ling.

Anyone interested should ring me on 01206 322500 or Ray Ling on 01473 823015.

Monday, 4 May 2015

4NCL final weekend

The last three rounds (9 to 11) were held over this Bank Holiday weekend.   The usual host of Suffolk players (26) travelled to Hinckley (for Divisions 1 and 2) and Daventry (Division 3).

In Division 1, Justin Tan beat GM Matthew Turner on Saturday, but lost to GM David Smerdon on Sunday.   Today he was paired against his mentor, Adam Hunt.   The result, somewhat predictably, was an 11-move draw.

Adam lost against GM Matthew Sadler in Round 9, but salvaged a draw on Sunday.

Alan Merry suffered two losses in rounds 9 and 10, but bounced back with a win today against an IM.   The best performance by any Suffolk player over the weekend was by Dagne Ciuksyte, who won all three games, albeit against lower-rated opponents.

In Division 2, Anglian Avengers 1 won two of their three matches and finished by heading the relegation pool, thus ensuring their survival in Division 2 next season.   Individual scores were:
Andrew Lewis 2½/3
David Spence 2½/3
Ed Player 2/3
Graham Moore 1/2
Steve Gregory 2½/3
Silas Peck 2/3 (unbeaten)

16 Suffolk players were involved in Division 3 matches, featuring the two Iceni teams, as well as Anglian Avengers 2nd and 3rd teams.   Individual scores were:
John Peters ½/3
Ian Botham 1/2
Ian Wallis 2/3 (unbeaten)
Mike Cook 2/3 (unbeaten)
Martin Fogg 2/3
Malcolm Lightfoot 2/3 (unbeaten)
Bob Jones 0/1
Steve Lovell 1/2 (unbeaten) + 1 default win
Dominic Carter 1½/2 + 1 default win
Richard Lamont 1/2 + 1 result not known
Keith Woodcock 1/2 + 1 result not known
Steve Peck 0/2 + 1 result not known
Nick Savage 1/2 (unbeaten)
John Feavyour 1/2
Jon Collins 0/2
Peter Collicott 1/1 + 1 default win

It was particularly annoying that Iceni 2's opponents today could only muster three players.

The final points total for each of the four Suffolk-based teams in Division 3 are (18 points were needed for promotion):
Anglian Avengers 2 - 14
Iceni 1 - 11
Iceni 2 - 10
Anglian Avengers 3 - 8

Anyone interested in playing 4NCL chess next season should contact the captains of the Suffolk-based teams - Ian Wallis and John Feavyour.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Adam is English Youth Champion (again)

The English Youth Grand Prix is open to all young players, who gain points from a range of events throughout the season.

Manningtree's Adam Taylor is the Under 16 Champion for 2015, having won the Under 15 title in 2014 and the Under 14 title in 2013!

The title is awarded by calculating the best three tournament performance grades from qualifying events.   Adam's best three performances were:

Golders Green Congress - 238
e2e4 High Wycombe Congress - 226
Bury St Edmunds Congress - 222
TOTAL = 686

Adam's nearest competitor scored 662.

You can view all 24 title holders (from Under 7 to Under 18, boys and girls) here.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Stowmarket Club Championship

With the final pairings completed last week, the 2014/2015 Stowmarket Club Championship has come to a close.   Top seed Stephen Lewis finished top of the standings with a 100% record, with second seed Dave Green close behind, scoring 4/5.

Twelve of the sixteen participants were separated by a single game or less, with 3rd and 14th only one point apart in the final scoring.   Heading this group were Daniel Yarnton (whose only loss came against Stephen) and John Player (the only player unfortunate enough to be paired against both Stephen and Dave).

Players achieving grading performances 15 points or higher than their January 2015 grades were Stephen Lewis (+24), John Player (+21), Gareth Young (+15) and Jay Kellichner (+21).

The final standings are shown below:

SoPS = sum of progressive scores (first tiebreaker)
SoOS = sum of opponents scores (second tiebreaker)
GP = grading performance (as per official gradings)
(Player grades are as at July 2014)

Friday, 1 May 2015

Results from Great Yarmouth

A total of 22 players from Suffolk clubs travelled to Gt Yarmouth last weekend for their annual congress.

The Open was won jointly by David Spence and IM Adam Hunt, who shared first place with Essex player John Anderson.   David Spence beat Alan Merry in Round 4.   Other Suffolk scores in the Open were:
Steve Gregory   3½
Alan Merry   3
Graham Moore   3
Chris Davison   2
Ian Wallis   2
Silas Peck   1½
Tim Lunn   1½
In addition, former Suffolk player (and Tim's brother) Simon Lunn scored 2 points.

Under 170:
Martin Fogg   3
Somton Ukken   3
Richard Lamont   3

Under 145:
Bob Stephens   3½ (= 3rd)
Anirta Somton (J)   3
Alonso Paez   3
Keith Woodcock   2½

Under 120:
Roger Smith   3½ (= 2nd)
Alan John (J)   3
Adam John (J)   2½
Tom Roy (J)   2½
Steve Peck   2
Ralph Martin (J)

(J) = Junior